A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The notion that sex is something all young people should want and should have underpins the series, but its participants do a nice job of exploring this idea and staying true to their own beliefs.
Positive Role Models
Parents will be pleasantly surprised that the real people featured on the show are not cinematic horndogs but instead have varying reasons for abstaining from sex, which the show treats with dignity.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
No nudity or on-screen sex, but the sex talk is graphic and constant. Participants talk about casual sex, STDs, erections, oral sex, lubricants, pregnancy, birth control, bodily fluids, and many other sexual topics. Characters talk frankly about their virginity and their sexual desires, and, when (if) they have sex during the duration of the show, they discuss what it was like.
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Some cursing, including words discussing body parts: "boobs," "ass," "dick." Men call another man a "p---y" for not having had sex yet.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer and cocktails at a party; they discuss how drinking will lower their inhibitions or make them act differently.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Virgin Territory is a reality show about twentysomething virgins who frankly discuss their sexual experiences (or lack thereof), fantasies, and fears on-screen. Viewers can expect to hear frequent jokes and discussion about body parts, masturbation, STDs, oral sex, casual sex, and many other varieties of sex. Sometimes the talk is quite graphic, but much of it also is thoughtful and self-reflective. Many points of view about sex are considered and treated with dignity. No nudity on-screen, but young men go to a strip club with scantily clad dancers who give them lap dances and jiggle their body parts. As the show progresses, cast members who lose their virginity drop out of the show -- but not before discussing the experience.
Is It Any Good?
Virgin Territory sounds like (and is) a logical extension of MTV's Teen Mom franchise. If the network is to make dramatic hay out of young mothers, it's interesting to find out how they got that way, right? Turns out, yes, it is, although Virgin Territory focuses on both male and female virgins, who reveal their uncomfortable emotions winningly to the camera. Their unique viewpoints and backgrounds are treated with dignity and respect: Christian virgin Lisa is shown visiting her pastor with her husband-to-be, giggling nervously as he talks about partners pleasing each other; 19-year-old college co-ed Mikaela tells the camera straightforwardly that she's "actively looking to lose her virginity" but that she's looking for a man she cares about a lot and "hasn't found that yet."
Movies such as American Pie and Fast Times at Ridgemont High have traditionally portrayed young virgins as rapacious horndogs (if they're male) or yearning-but-exploitable romantics (if they're female). These real virgins, with their diversity of experiences, fill in that outline with real problems. Thus this thoughtful, tender series winds up being a genuine rarity: A network show about sex that takes it seriously and considers it in the context of a happy and meaningful ordinary life. This is mature subject matter, but it brings up topics parents may want their teens to think about. Parents should watch first, but then they may well be fine with their mature teens watching alone.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.